Noel Gillespie

And-Ones: Kaun, Varejao, Hornets, Barnes

Center Sasha Kaun has retired after playing one season with the Cavaliers, according to Gary Bedore of KUSports.com. The 31-year-old Kaun played sparingly with Cleveland, appearing in 25 games. He was traded to the Sixers earlier this month, then waived. He played seven seasons with CSKA Moscow after completing his college career at Kansas. “I was very blessed and fortunate to play as long as I have,” he told the Journal-World from Colorado.

In other news around the league:

  • Warriors reserve center Anderson Varejao has returned to the U.S. from Brazil to undergo tests on his back, according to Brazil’s Olympic website. The report, which was later posted by the San Jose Mercury News, puts Varejao’s Olympic participation in doubt and clouds his availability for training camp. Varejao just re-signed with the Warriors last week after playing spot minutes the second half of last season and during the playoffs.
  • Noel Gillespie has been named head coach of the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets’ new D-League affiliate, the team announced on its website. Gillespie spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Nuggets. Before that, he was on the Suns’ staff for 10 seasons.
  • The Mavericks probably overpaid to obtain Harrison Barnes as a restricted free agent, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko. Dallas hopes that Barnes blossoms now that he’ll be a bigger part of its offense than he was with the Warriors, but he’s been a middle-of-the-road player and there’s no guarantee he’ll get much better, Sefko adds. Barnes was lured away with a four-year, $94MM offer sheet that Golden State couldn’t match.
  • Yogi Ferrell’s minimum contract with the Nets has a $100K guarantee, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The former Indiana University point guard agreed to a one-year deal with Brooklyn last week after going undrafted.

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Garnett, Gillespie

Russell Westbrook hasn’t offered any public comment since Kevin Durant elected to leave Oklahoma City and join the Warriors, notes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Westbrook also hasn’t offered any insight into his own situation, which includes free agency in the summer of 2017. That has led to speculation that the Thunder might consider trading him, rather than losing another important asset with nothing in return. Horne writes that he has been unable to contact Westbrook, either through his agent or the team. The only indications of Westbrook’s thinking are second-hand stories from his basketball camp in which he told a group of youngsters that he plans to stay in Oklahoma City.

There’s more news out of the Northwest Division:

  • There’s “nothing tangible” yet to reports linking the Celtics to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, says ESPN’s Chris Broussard (video link). It’s worth stressing that, while Westbrook, Blake Griffin, and the Celtics have been the subjects of trade speculation at the Las Vegas Summer League, much of that speculation is coming from rival general managers and execs — not from sources within the Celtics or Thunder, or from specific player agents.
  • When the Thunder sent Serge Ibaka to the Magic for three players, Ersan Ilyasova was viewed as almost an afterthought, included in the deal to make the salaries work. However, as Horne writes for The Oklahoman, Ilyasova – whose salary is now guaranteed – could potentially come in and start for OKC.
  • Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) that he’s waiting to hear from Kevin Garnett on whether or not he’ll play next season. “The great ones deserve time,” Thibodeau said of Garnett, who has one year and $8MM left on his contract with Minnesota.
  • Nuggets assistant coach Noel Gillespie is close to a deal that would make him the head coach of the Hornets‘ new D-League affiliate, tweets The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Gillespie has been part of Denver’s staff for the past two seasons.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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